Day At The Track

Vasari back on track

09:27 AM 09 Jul 2017 NZST
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Vasari in flight for the line.jpg
Vasari

The last 16 months of Vasari’s career has hardly panned out as his connections could have liked.

And it really hasn’t panned out the way Vasari would have liked it.

But when the highly-talented three-year-old bolted to an effortless win at Alexandra Park on Friday night he finally looked like the horse he promised to be as a late juvenile.

The long-striding son of Art Major may have been harshly judged for much of this season, with perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to him being his win in a Sires’ Stakes heat at Addington last year.

That night he lead and beat juvenile of the year More The Better, just a month after thrashing his opponents in a SIres’ Stakes heat at Cambridge by six lengths in a 1:55 mile rate.

After that level of performances anything but group one glory was going to seem like a waste of Vasari’s talent but luck deserted him in the best races as a juvenile and then an old problem kicked in this term.

Trainer Ray Green told driver David Butcher that by the time colts get to midway through their three-year-old season they either adapt to being a boy around girls or they can’t handle it.

“One night at Alexandra Park he didn’t try and when I came back in Ray summed it up nicely. He said ‘he has turned into a werewolf,” laughs Butcher.

So Vasari was gelded and now his mind is back on racing he looks more like his old self.

“He has always had the ability and the good thing about him is he relaxes so well.

“He felt great out there tonight and that is a very handy ability to have, the ability to park out and relax then kick hard 

“So who knows how far he can go now, after all, he is still only a three-year-old.”

The win was Vasari’s fifth and he should have little problem adding more in coming weeks and then the question will be whether Lincoln Farms want to keep him here in New Zealand or send him to somewhere like Menangle, where he would look suited.

But with the stake rises coming at Alexandra Park, maybe the days of handy mid-grade horses heading off shore will become less common, with a Vasari well capable of winning good money at home if the better-end races get off the ground.

His win extended Butcher’s huge lead in the North Island drivers premiership on a night when his son Zac landed two and brother Phil reined Pakipaki to an impressive win in a good fillies and mares race.

With Alta Intrigue second to Vasari it provided Ray Green with the quinella and took him to 28 wins for the season, still with a shot at his personal best of 31 set in 2012.

Already Green has bettered last season, is almost level on stakes won that term and has a better strike rate so has done another huge job to sit fifth of the northern trainers on the premiership.


Michael Guerin
 

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